Wo Tu

Above the Dust
Ten-year-old Wo Tu dreams of having a water pistol like the other boys in his village. Even though his father promised, he fails to bring one back with him from the city. But there is one hope for Wo Tu: his dying grandfather assures him that he will grant his wish once he becomes a ghost. After his death, the old man visits the boy in his dreams and initiates a treasure hunt. Soon, the boundaries between reality and dreams, past and present become increasingly blurred. Spanning three generations of a family in rural China, the film also paints a portrait of their profound love for the land.
by Wang Xiaoshuai
with Ouyang Wenxin, Yong Mei, Zu Feng, Li Jun, Wang Zichuan, Zhao Xiaoning
People’s Republic of China / Netherlands 2024 Mandarin 123’ World premiere recommendation: 10 years and up


  • Ouyang Wenxin (Wo Tu)
  • Yong Mei (Muyue)
  • Zu Feng (Chuan)
  • Li Jun (Grandfather)
  • Wang Zichuan (Jiu)
  • Zhao Xiaoning (Great-grandfather)


Director Wang Xiaoshuai
Screenplay Wang Xiaoshuai
Cinematography Kim Hyunseok
Editing Ruben Van Der Hammen
Music Ella Van Der Woude, Juho Nurmela
Sound Design Michel Schöpping
Sound Michel Schöpping
Production Design Lv Dong
Costumes Wang Xuesong
Make-Up Wang Yingying
Casting Jin Xiangxiang
Co-Producers Leontine Petit, Erik Glijnis
Co-Production Lemming Film Amsterdam

Wang Xiaoshuai

The director is recognised as a pioneer of independent filmmaking in China. Over the last 30 years, he has made 15 films, all of which demonstrate a strong social conscience. His directorial debut, The Days, screened in the Forum in 1994 and was subsequently added to the MoMA collection in New York. His films have already featured in the Berlinale Competition three times: Beijing Bicycle won the Grand Jury Prize in 2001; In Love We Trust received the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay in 2008; and So Long, My Son won two Silver Bears, for Best Actor and Best Actress, in 2019. In 2010, the French Ministry of Culture awarded him the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.


1993 Dongchun di rizi (The Days) 1995 Ji du han leng (Frozen) 1999 Bian dan gu niang (So Close to Paradise) 2000 Meng huan tian yuan (Suburban Dreams) 2001 Shi qi sui de dan che (Beijing Bicycle) 2003 Er di (Drifters) 2005 Qing hong (Shanghai Dreams) 2008 Zuo you (In Love We Trust) 2010 Ri zhao chong qing (Chongqing Blues) 2011 Wo 11 (11 Flowers) 2014 Chuang ru zhe (Red Amnesia) 2018 Wo de jing tou (Chinese Portrait); Documentary 2019 Di jiu tian chang (So Long, My Son) 2022 Lv Guan (The Hotel) 2024 Wo Tu (Above the Dust)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2024